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Jason Kao Hwang

American-born Chinese violinist and composer, Jason Kao Hwang has received grants for composition fromthe NEA and NYSCA - for his opera Immigrant of the Womb which will be performed at Dance Theater Workshop in New York City in February, 1996. In addition to the new release by The Far East Side Band, the group will recored a project for Victo Records. Hwang is currently a member of the Anthony Braxton Sextet, the Diedre Murray Band, the Reggie Workman Ensemble and String Leaders (Leroy Jenkins, Diedre Murray, Calvin Hill). He has performed with Pauline Oliveros and the Deep Listening Band, Butch Morris, William Parker, 'X Communication', Sirone, Michelle Kinney, Fred Hopkins, Milford Graves, Billy Bang, Ushio Torikai, Ken MacIntyre and others in New York, and Sin Cha Hong and Samul Mori in South Korea. He recently recorded an album with Sola Liu and Henry Threadgill. Mr. Hwang has scored numerous films and was in the original cast to M Butterfly, performing music he co-arranged.

Jason Kao Hwang (b. 1957) is a highly respected improviser who also has a number of compositions and film scores to his credit. The Floating Box is a major contemporary work that gives voice not only to the Asian immigrant experience in America in particular but also to the immigrant experience in general. With the collaboration of librettist Catherine Filloux, The Floating Box is an original story inspired by the oral histories of Chinese-Americans living in Chinatown. The story of Eva/Yee-Wa, a young Chinese-American woman living with her mother, is the story of many diasporic peoples who have sought a better life in new, often harsh surroundings. The poetry of Filloux's libretto fuses perfectly with Hwang's eclectic score, beautifully capturing the complex, intimate relationships among these three characters. The opera employs both Chinese and Western instruments in an ensemble of eight players: piccolo/flute/alto flute; Bb clarinet/bass clarinet; vibraphone; pipa (Chinese lute); accordion; percussion, including Tibetan chimes and singing bowls, whirling air tubes, Chinese tom toms, and a Buddhist fan drum; erhu/gaohu/zhonghu (a family of two-stringed Chinese violins categorized as huqin); and cello. In Hwang's skilled hands, these instruments together forge a rich amalgam of sound -- in the composer's words, 'complex suspensions rather than homogenous solutions.' The precision with which Hwang mines each instrument's sonic possibilities and the imaginative ways with which he draws upon subsets of the full ensemble result in a vibrant musical narrative that propels the drama forward to its conclusion. The kaleidoscopic range of musical styles employed --atonality, blues, Broadway, Chinese opera, chromaticism, impressionism, jazz, pop -- establishes The Floating Box as the work of an artist who is completely comfortable bridging multiple musical worlds."


Jason Kao Hwang's records on clean feed
Climbing the Banyan Tree
Ravish Momin's Trio Tarana
 
     
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